Turkey or Beef Chili

Authentic Texan chili is made with chunks of beef and has no beans. This recipe isn’t that. It’s made with ground meat and beans, but it’s still tasty. The unusual thing about this recipe is the addition of the grated carrot and spinach. I’m not one of the people who “sneaks” in vegetables into dishes, but I do like to incorporate as many vegetables as I can. The carrot disappears into the chili and you’ll never know it’s there. You’ll never taste the spinach, but you’ll see it. If you’re too weirded out by the idea of carrot and spinach in chili, you can omit them.


  • 1 – 1.5 lbs of ground turkey or ground beef (or a mixture)
  • 3 cans of beans (I’ve used red kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas in the past. You can use the same beans or a mixture. I like using a mixture because it means different flavors and textures.)
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups of beef broth
  • 2 jalapenos (sliced)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 box of frozen chopped spinach
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon of paprika
  • salt
  • pepper


  • 1 bag of frozen corn


  • Grated cheese
  • Chopped raw onion
  • Sliced scallions


  1. Brown the meat in a dutch oven. If browning turkey, add a little olive oil first. Drain the fat if browning ground beef.
  2. Sautee onion and bell pepper with the meat when the meat is cooked halfway through.
  3. When the meat is thoroughly cooked and the onion and bell pepper are softened, add in the spices (chili powder, turmeric, cumin, paprika), a little salt and pepper. (I like to eat my chili on top of tortilla chips, which has plenty of salt, so I deliberately undersalt the chili.) Mix the spices with the mixture.
  4. Add in the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, beans, garlic, grated carrot, and frozen spinach into the dutch oven.
  5. Simmer for 45 -60 minutes. If you’re adding frozen corn, toss the corn in in the last 5 minutes.

I like to eat my chili with tortilla chips and grated cheese. I find there’s enough salt in the chips and cheese for the chili. Ben likes to eat the chili straight up, so he adds some more salt before devouring his bowl of chili.

2 thoughts on “Turkey or Beef Chili

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